Crumlin Addresses AMMA Conference

National Secretary Paddy Crumlin addressed the AMMA conference about the need to work with unions on training, safety and skills shortages.

MUA National Secretary Paddy Crumlin yesterday attended the Australian Mines and Metals Association (AMMA) Conference on the Gold Coast to speak on a panel about bargaining and productivity.

AMMA represents employers in the mining, metals, and offshore oil and gas sectors - in which the MUA has many members.

It was the first time the MUA had been invited to address the AMMA Annual Conference.

Mr Crumlin spoke on a panel with AMWU National Secretary Dave Oliver, and Sydney Alliance founder Amanda Tattersall.

Crumlin's speech centred around the need to move away from "negotiation via PR and spin" and he urged AMMA delegates to engage constructively with their employees and unions to achieve the outcomes needed for safety and training.

He noted that the only way to achieve a productive workforce was to make sure that employees were well trained and that workplaces were safe.

Productivity in maritime operations in the offshore oil and gas industry is not a trade off that can be thrown around during bargaining. Improvement must constitute a process of continuous improvement against agreed areas or identified issues where capital and labour both stand to gain and both commit to contribute.

Importantly, Australia's ports workforce remains one of the most productive in the world, and their have ben no complaints of productivity from employers for over 10 years.

Crumlin noted that the MUA bargains hard, but always within the law. The union is participating in a dialogue with other offshore unions to test the consensus of overarching framework principles.

The MUA is working productively with some employers, thorough the industry training company Maritime Employees Training Ltd (METL) to help meet the labour shortage and skills deficit.

Mr Crumlin encouraged all AMMA delegates to get involved in METL and other training initiatives, rather than wringing their hands about skills shortages.

You can read a Courier Mail story about the conference here.

A link to Paddy Crumlin's speech is here